FLOOD: 70% of Bayelsa communities under water, Dickson cries out

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…Orders closure of schools
…Delta assures victims of health care services
…More Delta communities affected

By Samuel Oyadongha, Festus Ahon Emem Idio

Flood has continued to ravage Bayelsa and Delta states with Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State raising the alarm that over 70 per cent of communities in the state have been submerged by raging flood.

Dickson

Dickson during a tour of communities severely impacted by flooding called on the Federal Government to declare emergency in the state.

Accompanied by representatives of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA; members of the state security committee, Police, Army, Air Force, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence, and others, Dickson who also visited his hometown, Toru Orua in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state,  was taken aback by the force of rushing flood water from the Forcados River into the community.

Delta assures victims of health care services

In Delta State, the state government has assured victims taking refuge at the six government established holding camps of quality of health care services.

Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Health, Mrs Minnie Oseji, who gave the assurance during her supervisory visit to Camp Clinic at Ogbe Afor Primary School, Asaba, said the visit afforded her the opportunity to meet the health team with a view to ensuring that all relevant health services were available at the camp.

While emphasizing the need for keeping accurate health records to enable proper planning of health services, she said the camp clinic would be operating round the clock on a daily basis with enough medical doctors, health workers deployed and essential drugs stocked for dispensing.

Bayelsa communities under water

In Bayelsa State, the severity of the flooding was such that some of the communities have been cut off from othere by the increasing flood level, which has gotten to window and lintel levels in others.

At Biseni community and settlements around it in Yenagoa Local Government Area, it was observed that the area could no longer be accessed by road.

The convoy of Governor Dickson had to be turned back when the people came out in boats on the tarred road to say that accessing the area by road had been rendered impossible by the raging flood level.

Also, the governor and his entourage visited other communities, which were submerged by the flood with the desperate people in need of shelter for relief materials at Sampou, Kaiama, Odi, in Kolokuma/Okpokuma Local Government Area and Sagbama, Bolou Orua, Toru Orua, and several others in Sagbama Local Government Area.

A substantial part of the state capital, Yenagoa, especially Tombia, Akempai, Agudama-Ekpetiama and others, is seriously affected by the flooding.

Govt orders closure of schools

Dickson noted that the severity of the flood made the state executive committee and the state security committee to take a decision during their meetings on Friday to close all schools in Bayelsa with immediate effect to enable the management to take the students to their parents.

He described the flood as a major disaster, which had affected the state with thousands of people rendered homeless.

The governor also identified some public premises, which were not affected by the flood for immediate conversion to temporary internally displaced camps in the state.

Emergency flood situation

He called on the Federal Government for urgent support to the state to combat the humanitarian challenges thrown up by the flooding emergency

Dicksonn also called on the Federal Government to declare a flood emergency in Bayelsa, noting that the coastal state, which is below the sea llevel was omitted when the government declared emergency flood situation in four states of Kogi, Niger, Delta and Anambra on September 18, 2018.

He said the state government had set up a special committee to manage the flood situation comprising top government officials and the security services under the leadership of the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (retd).

More Delta mommunities affected

In Delta State,  the ravaging flood has continued to wreck havoc in different parts of the state, including Beneku community, Ndokwa East Local Government Area of the state, submerging buildings, including the country home of the deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Friday Osanebi.

Farmlands, plantations, agricultural produce, fish bonds, the community market and schools have also been submerged.

It’s sad, devastating —Osanebi

Reacting to the spate of the flood, which had overtaken most parts of the council area, Osanebi described the development as sad and devastating.

He said: “This natural disaster really came hard on my people but thank God no life was lost. The extent of damage done to the source of livelihood of the people, which is farming is, however, a thing of big concern, and I commend my people for their calm disposition in the face of the problem.”

Speaking after inspecting some of the holding camps and areas affected by the flood, the Director, Relief and Rehabilitation, NEMA, Mr. Kayode Fagbemi, commended the state government for being proactive in handling the effects of the flood.



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